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74                  HISTORY OF PERSIA                nm.
and on Mamun," and thus the two most eminent and
most Persophile Caliphs of the Abbasid dynasty are
annually execrated by thousands who would otherwise
never have heard of their existence.
Tahir, Viceroy of the E<tst, A.IK 204-207 (819-8^2),
—The insurrection of Ibrahim speedily collapsed, and
Mamun showed mercy and an entire absence of vindie-
tiveness towards the rebels. Tahir was appointed Viceroy
of the East; but he showed signs of disloyalty and was
thereupon poisoned, probably by an agent of the Caliph.
But the influence he had acquired was so great that his
son Talha was allowed to succeed him ; and by this
appointment Khorasan achieved the status of a semi-
independent kingdom.
The Later Tears of Mawnn and hh /)^////, A.M. 218
(833).-—After his power had been established at Baghdad
the position and prestige of Mamun rivalled that of his
father. At the same time there was little peace within
the Empire, An insurrection in Kgypt took twelve years
to crush, and for twenty years a brigand named Buhck,
who professed transmigration and other mystic doctrines,
terrorized the northern provinces, holding his own in
Azerbaijan, and defeating army after army sent against
Mamun was of the same active habit as his father,
and the close of his reign found him taking the field in
person against the Greeks near Tarsus, where, like
Alexander the Great, he caught a chill from the cold
mountain water. Less fortunate than the great Greek,
however, he died from the effects of his imprudence*
The An$) Science^ and Literatim umltr Mtimun* -A
mere recital of the chief events of Mamun's reign docs
not convey the impression of exceptional brilliance or
conspicuous success. Yet all writers agree that for
Islam this was the golden age of intellectual activity.
The arts, literature, science, the practice of medicine
were now seriously studied, and pursued with such
thoroughness that it was through the vehicle of Arabic
that benighted Europe became again aware of the glorious
, heritage of Greek science and philosophy of which it had